Analysis of a child's fear of darkness leads him and us to understand the nature and kinds of fear.
BILLY'S FEAR OF DARKNESS IN HIS BEDROOM PROMPTS HIS MOTHER TO EXPLAIN TO HIM THAT FEAR IS NATURAL. DISCUSSION OF VARIOUS KINDS OF FEAR - RATIONAL, IRRATIONAL. IN CONCLUSION, FILM ASKS AUDIENCE TO DISCUSS BILLY'S FEARS.
Ken Smith sez: Billy is afraid of the dark, but his understanding mother tells him "don't be ashamed of fear," and this apparently helps. Ominous music plays during flashbacks, where Billy sees how he and his friends have dealt with fear in their lives. But where's the montage of speculative fears? Where're the monsters??? A disappointment.
Mom tries to get little boy to go to bed. He is playing with construction set. She puts him to bed and puts out the light. He is afraid of the dark.
Boy jumps up and calls his mother
Mother cooks breakfast for dad and boy. Fat in frying pan catches fire and scares mom.
Boy playing catch outside school. Little boy looks up.
Little boy playing with Collie dog. Little girl runs away.
Woman answers telephone
Dad brings little girl a puppy.
Little girl takes dog for a walk.
Little boy and parents discuss report card.
FEARS CHILDREN FAMILY LIFE BEDROOMS BEDTIME SLEEP PARENTS SHADOWS KITCHENS FIRE SCHOOLS PLAYGROUNDS DOGS TELEPHONES HOMEWORK safety Danger Lurks
April 4, 2009 Subject:
Ahh, A Bed Wetter....
Id Sneak In After Midnight Dressed As A Clown & Scare The Beejesus Outta The Lil' Pussy!
November 1, 2008 Subject:
"There was no monster."
A boy and his friends are scaredy cats and mom has to have a talk with the boy to calm his nerves.
Originally released by Encyclopedia Britannica in color. This print is in black and white.
July 7, 2008 Subject:
ERD's comment on the button
You're right on the money with that comment, ERD. No, children did not run around thinking about the cold war and atomic bombs every day during the 50's and it too saddens me to think that people just aren't willing to belive that there was a better time of life! My mother was an only child who grew up in the 50's and her memories of that time are wonderful ones. Of course not everybody's life was perfect and life wasn't exactly like it was portrayed on film, in magazines and picture books but it really was a kindler, gentler era. I am quite aware that we were not a perfect world then. There was so much that we still needed to learn and many changes that needed to be made. This is the same now and although we've come quite far we have lost so much along the way.
Thankfully though I was taught so many of the wonderful values of that time and I have worked hard to pass those on to my own children.
October 21, 2005 Subject:
That's the way it was
Billy would have been around my age in the 1950's, and yes, my mother did talk to me that way when I had a problem. I think too many reviewers are not putting these films in perspective, or really understand the times they were made in. Children didn't go around thinking about the Cold War and bombs every day.
October 21, 2005 Subject:
Now we call this attention seeking or ADHD.
Not as helpful as other films. Repetitive. Gives one answer. Not much of an answer. Think about your fears. Aimed more at parents: Talk to your kids.
September 27, 2005 Subject:
Mother Was a Freudian
Billy is afraid of the dark. Mother tells Billy that he is only projecting unconscious anxiety about individuation toward the end of his sexual latency. Further, she reassures him that she and his Father both love him equally and unequivocally.
In a strange twist, she warns Billy that the Monster under the bed will only attack him if Billy touches 'down there.'
April 23, 2003 Subject:
I think Billy needs to talk some more.
Billy (by the way, that's a atypical social guidance film name) is afraid of the dark. Yet, just cannot get over the fear of telling his Mom of what is wrong. Huh? That's interesting. Soon, Billy and his Mom stay up for what seems to be all night yapping about what makes them scared (grease fires!) and what not (cute dogs!) Soon, Billy's mom talks him into submission and he's ready to fall asleep now. A So-So film.
October 22, 2002 Subject:
Don't Be Afraid
Billy is afraid of the dark until his mom gives him a long lecture about real fears vs. imaginary fears, giving lots of examples such as Mom being afraid of a grease fire (real), Kathy being afraid of dogs (imaginary), Billy being afraid to climb up a drainpipe to retrieve a ball (real) and Frank hiding in the basement out of fear of his parents' reaction to his bad report card (imaginary). This film takes place in a charming imaginary world where the worst dangers are grease fires and high places, dogs are friendly creatures that never bite and definitely don't have rabies, and a child with a bad report card hides from his parents because of a terrible misunderstanding, not because of any real fear of abuse by them (the film does admit that the parents "might have been pushing Frank too hard" but the whole thing is resolved in the end and everybody's happy). Note to certain clueless people: This was not the world of the 1950s. This world never existed. There was plenty to be afraid of in the 1950s. Remember the Cold War, for starters? Check out some of the military and propaganda films in this archive if you don't know what I'm talking about.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****. Also available on Campy Classroom Classics, Vol. 2 and Monsters Crash the Pajama Party Spook Show Spectacular DVD.